Climate Action Equity in Canada

Climate Action Equity in Canada

Climate action cannot happen without social justice and equity, but what does equitable climate action mean for Vancouver, and how are other Canadian cities doing it already? Case studies of best practices across the country are featured to provide a method for future analysis of social equity projects and plans.

School:

SFU

Department:

School of Resource and Environmental Management

Course:

ENV 302

Instructors:

  • Andreanne Doyon

City of Vancouver:

  • Marga Pacis

Student Team:

  • Ashley Armitage

Strategy:

  • Climate Emergency Action Plan

Term:

Spring 2021

Summary

The Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) aims to be an equitable plan, but what does that really mean and how is it being done across Canada? Scholarly research about social equity in climate action is largely centred in the United States, so when posed with the task to find Canadian examples it led to this project of comparative analysis.

For the City of Vancouver, it is valuable to understand what cities with similar governance models are doing so that ideas are grounded and realistic. Throughout this process we learned that though there are obvious best practices, Canadian cities are not considering equity and justice enough in their climate action planning. The simple thematic analysis applied for this project highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of each plan, and this formula can be used to better analyze every plan or action proposed.

Within Canada, some of the most popular methods of addressing social equity were addressing food security, enhancing local Indigenous relationships, and encouraging social cohesion to strengthen community responses to climate change. The CEAP currently does not address food security or social capital in any way, but this could be incredibly valuable for a city like Vancouver. Recognizing the power of community is crucial to climate action and enhancing social justice.